Designed to provide a medium-term perspective of departments in the context of their longer-term vision and set out how they will get there.

11 March 2021: In September 2019, Cabinet considered public finance system modernisation and strategic planning. It agreed to stop requirements for Four Year Plans, and noted Ministers should have certain expectations for all agency strategic planning and reporting processes.

Further information is available from the Treasury

Four Year Plans

A Four Year Plan provides a snap-shot in time of a department's strategic and medium-term planning. It describes what the department will look like in four years’ time. It answers "how will the department create increasing value for its customers and New Zealanders over the medium-term with the funding and balance sheet it has available?" in an integrated way.

Guidance for 2018 Four Year Plans has been released - see the Related Resources.

There is also an Excel template that needs to be completed for the supporting financial information due alongside the Four Year Plan.

Workforce Strategy in Four Year Plans

Workforce strategy is a key element of Four Year Plans.

The people capability/workforce resources in this section have been updated to reflect and support the developing maturity of Four Year Plans.

Being clear on workforce strategy enables delivery on strategic direction by aligning the workforce and workforce management approach to planned business results. 

The updated workforce checklist is designed to assist agencies to confirm that their Four Year plan addresses the key workforce questions

Agencies that may be quite new to developing a formal workforce strategy may find the ‘Notes for Agencies’ and ‘Notes for Sectors’ useful.

These resources include more detailed lines of enquiry to assist agencies and sectors to:

  • Consider the overall impact of their business strategy on their workforce needs
  • Build a picture of their current workforce
  • Identify desired future state
  • Develop a strategy to address any gaps between current and future state.


Please discuss any initial questions you may have about developing strategic intentions with your Public Service Deputy Commissioner/Assistant Commissioner and /or Treasury Vote manager.  

Available for ongoing support:

  • Te Kawa Mataaho System and Agency Performance Group contacts,
  • Te Kawa Mataaho Workforce Strategy Team contacts,
  • the Te Kawa Mataaho Performance Improvement Framework Team,
  • Treasury Vote Teams, and
  • Functional Lead teams (GCIO, Procurement and NZGPP).


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